Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Building & Residential area

Photo credit: Wang Luan Keng


In the highly urbanised island state of Singapore, much of its original natural habitats were replaced by buildings such as public housing, malls, factories and more. Due to land constraints, the skyline of Singapore is defined mainly by high rise buildings. Such structures make it unsuitable for many flora and fauna to thrive. The heat released from or trapped in buildings is a major contributor to the 'urban heat island effect'. As a result, places with tall buildings like the CBD have temperatures as much as 4-7°C higher than rural areas.

Though man-made, urban buildings and structures have become a preferred habitat for a selective group of fauna, allowing them to thrive well in urban landscapes. Animals such as Feral Pigeons (Columbia livia), Pacific Swallows (Hirundo tahitica), Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) and bats nest or roost in ledges, awnings or cavities present in many buildings as well as other man-made structures, including bridges and tunnels.

However, the recent years saw initiatives pushing for the greening of buildings. In fact, a national target has also been set so that at least 80% of existing buildings in Singapore will be "green" by 2013. Innovations such as planting of vegetation on the green roofs and green facades of certain buildings provide small pockets of natural habitats which attract local and migratory fauna. Efforts were also made in encouraging the local community in gardening and enhancing the surroundings of residential areas. Hence, more gardens can be found now in schools, hospitals, as well as public and private estates.



Building & Residential area

Related Places

Spot any errors? Have any questions? Something to contribute? Email us at dbsthh@nus.edu.sg!
Presented by

Sponsored by